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The X-Files is a popular American television series created by Chris Carter. It ran for nine seasons from 1993 until 2002, spawning a feature film in 1998 and one spin-off TV series. It originally aired on the FOX network. It was a critical and commercial success, due in part to its stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

Fox Mulder, played by Duchovny, and Dana Scully, played by Anderson, are two FBI agents tasked with investigating the titular "X-Files", cases that often involve paranormal phenomena. With plots spanning conspiracy theories and high-level governmental cover-ups, the show mimicked episodic elements found in earlier shows such as The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, and the cult show Twin Peaks, in which Duchovny had appeared as a cross-dressing DEA agent. The series became a surprise runaway success, with a devoted following. Fans of the show became known as "eXcers" or more commonly, "X-Philes", a term coined by Matt Grommes on an early Fidonet X-Files message board.

The X-Files was declared by TV Guide to be one of the greatest television shows of all time, and the second greatest cult TV show of all time, behind Star Trek. Chris Carter used The X-Files as a springboard for a spin-off show involving characters from The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen. Carter's TV series Millennium survived three seasons. Millennium took place in the same diegesis as The X-Files, and eventually there were some crossover episodes. Carter also created another short-lived TV series, Harsh Realm. None of these three shows garnered the same level of public or critical attention as The X-Files.